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In the last few years, the number of convicted criminals given

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Re: In the last few years, the number of convicted criminals given  [#permalink]

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New post 17 Dec 2018, 22:41
At issue in this question is subject-verb agreement; the number ... has risen must be the kernel of the main clause. Choice E, the best answer, uses a singular verb form, has, to agree with the singular subject, the number. Choices A, B, and C mistake criminals for the sentence subject and so incorrectly use the plural verb form have. In B and C the verb phrases (performing .. . ) do not clearly modify criminals, because another noun (sentences) intrudes, nor do the verb phrases clearly establish temporal relationships among events. D is wordy and imprecise (in their performing of specific jobs). Hence, E is the answer.
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Re: In the last few years, the number of convicted criminals given  [#permalink]

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New post 20 Jan 2019, 13:03
AdityaHongunti wrote:
am i right in discarding option D for punctuation absence??
we need a "comma" before" which "

Yup! Just be aware that when "which" is the object of a preposition - "in which," "from which," etc. - it won't follow a comma. And the GMAT very, very rarely tests comma usage in their newer questions, so don't worry about them too much.

I hope that helps!
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Re: In the last few years, the number of convicted criminals given  [#permalink]

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New post 22 Jan 2019, 20:04
With POE, I can easily take A, B, C, D out, but still confused with option E: Whom 'performing specific job'? I think reasonably they are 'them'/criminals, but we dont have any precedent subject for that clause. It is usual to say that "I do A while doing B" (the precedent subject "I" applying for both clauses of the sentence), but when I re-write this clause as following, causing a little ambiguity:
Community service sentences {allow them to remain unconfined} while {performing specific jobs} that benefit the public.

Then, I tried to rewrite it in different way to make "them" a subject for the gerund "performing", it should be like this:
Community service sentences allow them {to remain unconfined} while {to perform} specific jobs that benefit the public.

Can someone help me out what is problem with my thought?
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In the last few years, the number of convicted criminals given  [#permalink]

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New post 23 Jan 2019, 10:55
Richardson wrote:
In the last few years, the number of convicted criminals given community service sentences allowing them to remain unconfined while performing specific jobs that benefit the public has risen dramatically.

Duongluong wrote:
With POE, I can easily take A, B, C, D out, but still confused with option E: Whom 'performing specific job'? I think reasonably they are 'them'/criminals, but we dont have any precedent subject for that clause. It is usual to say that "I do A while doing B" (the precedent subject "I" applying for both clauses of the sentence), but when I re-write this clause as following, causing a little ambiguity:
Community service sentences {allow them to remain unconfined} while {performing specific jobs} that benefit the public.

Then, I tried to rewrite it in different way to make "them" a subject for the gerund "performing", it should be like this:
Community service sentences allow them {to remain unconfined} while {to perform} specific jobs that benefit the public.

Can someone help me out what is problem with my thought?

Duongluong , I'm not sure I understand your question. Actually, I'm sure I don't understand your question.

1) what bothers you?

2) what is it that you are trying to fix about the sentence? What is it that you want the sentence to say that it does not say?

Is is possible that you are over thinking this issue?

I am about to deploy too much jargon.

I need to do so because the focus seems to be grammar rules.

I understand the urge to find hard-and-fast rules. But you wrote that you could eliminate option D easily. Answer E is correct.

Here's a productive question: What rule or rules might you be incorrectly relying upon?

The subject is number.
The verb is has risen.

An unusually long prepositional phrase follows:

of convicted criminals / given community service sentences / allowing them to remain unconfined while performing specific jobs / that benefit the public

Within the prepositional phrase we have:

1) essential participial modifier = of convicted criminals

2 past participle + nouns = given community service sentences

3) present participle + pronoun + infinitive phrase = allowing them to remain unconfined while performing specific jobs

4) that clause (relative clause modifer) = that benefit the public

Where did you get the idea that the object of a preposition could not be the antecedent of a pronoun? (IS this issue the one that bothers you? :( )

Or that a pronoun must refer to a noun that is a subject of the sentence?

The object of a preposition cannot be the subject of another sentence.

The object of a preposition cannot simultaneously be the object of a verb.

But the object of a preposition certainly can be an antecedent for a pronoun.

The subject of the sentence is not criminals.
But "criminals" IS the antecedent of "them."

Look at the structure of the participial phrases. The pronoun-noun relationship is logical.

Criminals are people. Sentences are not people. Sentences cannot perform jobs. The only logical antecedent of them in the long prepositional modifier is "criminals."

I admire your tenacity. Keep your eyes on the bigger picture, too. You may well be doing so and I just cannot see that you are doing so because I do not understand your question. :-)

Hope that reply helps.
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Re: In the last few years, the number of convicted criminals given  [#permalink]

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New post 23 Jan 2019, 22:09
Richardson wrote:
The Official Guide for GMAT Review, 10th Edition, 2003

Practice Question
Question No.: SC 178
Page: 680

In the last few years, the number of convicted criminals given community service sentences, which allow the criminals to remain unconfined while they perform specific jobs benefiting the public, have risen dramatically.

(A) sentences, which allow the criminals to remain unconfined while they perform specific jobs benefiting the public, have

(B) sentences, performing specific jobs that benefit the public while being allowed to remain unconfined, have

(C) sentences, performing specific jobs beneficial to the public while they are allowed to remain unconfined, have

(D) sentences which allow them to remain unconfined in their performing of specific jobs beneficial to the public has

(E) sentences allowing them to remain unconfined while performing specific jobs that benefit the public has


SV agreement error ;
the number of singular ; so options D & E are only left
amongst them E is constructed well over D since in D ,which is missing and is wordy
E is concise and is rightly constructed
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Re: In the last few years, the number of convicted criminals given   [#permalink] 23 Jan 2019, 22:09

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